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Chapter 5 : First Day Back
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First Day Back
James awoke to the sunlight streaming in through his window and cursed the fact that he didn’t close his curtains that night. He groaned and lifted a hand to his forehead, knowing he’d have to get up some time or another. Losing the internal battle, James slung his legs over the side of his bed and rubbed his eyes tiredly. According to the alarm charm going off in his head, that would make the time around seven o’clock in the morning. As much as James would love to have a lie in, as breakfast didn’t start until eight, he wanted to get up and have a jog round the grounds before classes. Just so he could stay in shape of course.
James got up from his four poster bed and stumbled into his bathroom thinking about the day before. It was so great that Peri was back in England now, but it did arouse a few problems which he would have to sort out. If it weren’t for Remus, he probably wouldn’t be able to get his head round how he was going to explain things to her. Still, James sighed as he brushed his teeth, there wasn’t much he could do about her reaction in any case.
He jogged back into his room and pulled on a fresh sweater and a pair of tracksuit bottoms before slipping on his trainers and stepping out into the common room. He shut is door with a quiet click, so as not to awake Lily (although she may already be awake for all he knew) and descended the stairs into the common room. James adored the Heads Dorms. His bedroom was made to look just like his bedroom at home, which was comforting, and the common room itself was almost as good as the Gryffindor common room – just smaller. James could get used to life as Head Boy. He jogged out of the portrait hole before taking a secret passage he knew that led to the second floor. After narrowly dodging one of Peeves water balloons and sending him in the right direction of Filch, James finally reached the great oak doors.
He opened one of them a little so he could squeeze out before beginning his run for real. First, he sprinted across the lawn to the lake and then rapidly changed direction to the quidditch pitch. The morning dew soaked his shoes but James didn’t care – adrenaline pulsing through his body like a poison. The morning was misty and James couldn’t see the opposite end of the pitch but he began to jog round anyway. As he was approaching his starting point near the commentators box, he spotted something out of the corner of his eye. A shadow moving back into the rafting of the box. James sprinted over to investigate, but found nothing.
“Hmmm…” James mumbled thoughtfully. He jogged out of the pitch and back to the lake where he collapsed, panting with exhaustion.
The lake glistened with sprinklings of frost and he admired it’s serenity before he sat cross legged and looked out across the water. To his left he saw the old beech tree that he and his friends usually sat under – this was it. This year was his last chance to sit under that tree. His final chance to be a member of this school because by the end of June – school was over.
They were going to be pushed out into the real world and not a very pleasant one either. James knew better than anyone what Voldemort was capable of, as his parents were both the best Aurors in the biz, and James often worried for their safety. But there was nothing he could do to dissuade them from their career choice – they were fighting for what they knew was right.
After a few minutes his thoughts began to stray to Lily Evans. Oh, how often they did that! He was once again unpleasantly reminded that this was his last chance with her too. If he didn’t get her this year, he would. James was determined not to mess this up this year. He was going to be mature, responsible and not even ask her out – unless it was appropriate of course. James smiled. He could feel it – this year was the year. Potter’s Year. James liked the sound of that.
At around seven in the morning Lily heard James leave the Heads Dorm. Why he of all people would be up this early, Lily would never comprehend. So far as she knew he was a lazy git who thought sitting on a broomstick made you the coolest person in the world – well his popularity did no favours for his inflated ego.
Lily was sitting on her bed, fully dressed, and reading a favourite book of hers, The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. Lily was a big fan of her murder mystery novels and was completely taken in by the small Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. However, when Lily realised she had been reading the same sentence over and over she decided it was time to put the book down. She placed it carefully on her bed side table smiling at the cover.
Lily glanced around her room. She loved it. It was exactly the way it was at her house which, although making her feel slightly homesick, was a great comfort. Lily checked the time – 7:45 she decided to head to breakfast so she changed into her school robes. Tying her auburn curls into a bun at the back of her head, Lily decided she looked presentable and (with one last forlorn glance at her beloved book) left the room quietly.
She skipped along the hallways of Hogwarts thinking about this being her last year. Everything she ever wanted to do at Hogwarts had to be done this year and she was going to make the most of it.
In the entrance hall just as she was about to enter the Great Hall she heard the creaking of one of the great oak doors behind her. She turned to see Potter sliding through, panting heavily – his hair all matted with sweat. When he saw her he grinned and waved whereas Lily just scowled and turned back into the Great Hall. She didn’t see James’ face fall at her departure.
Taking a seat at the Gryffindor table Lily sat down – it was five minutes until the plates were filled with food and there were only a few students actually in the hall. Lily groaned as she realised it would have been so much easier o bring the book to read rather than to just sit there and do nothing until breakfast came.
Luckily, she was saved from her boredom by a sandy brown haired prefect known as Remus Lupin.
“Good Morning Lily,” He chirped, sliding into the seat next to her.
“Morning Remus. You’re up early.” She commented.
“I could say the same about you,” Remus grinned and Lily laughed.
“Someone’s awfully chipper this morning!” Remus had begun to whistle through his teeth.
“I’m just in a good mood, I guess. It’ll be back to good ole boring Remus when Padfoot bounds in. Although that won’t be half an hour yet.” Remus smiled warmly and Lily smiled back. At that moment, the plates were all filled with various breakfast dishes and Lily began to help herself.
True to Remus’ predictions, Sirius and Peter came bounding in around half an hour later. Sirius pounced into the seat opposite Remus and Peter slid in next to Sirius.
“Gooooood morning, Moony!” Sirius beamed.
“You are far too hyper for this early in the morning,” Remus sighed tiredly.
“Look who’s talking,” Lily shot at Remus who winked. Sirius appeared to just notice her.
“Gooooood Morning to you too, Evans!” Lily rolled her eyes, not smiling. “Have you seen Prongs this very fine morning?”
“I think he’s gone up to the Head’s Dorms to shower. He was out running I think.” Lily replied through gritted teeth. Soon enough though she was saved by her own friends.
Abbie Rachel and Peri all walked into the hall, arms linked, and chatting animatedly. Lily waved them over and they began to walk towards her. But Peri broke off, smiling and waving at Abbie before running up to sit on the other side of Remus. Abbie took the seat next to Lily and Rachel took the one opposite – unfortunately next to Sirius.
“Gooooood morning, Sanderson!” Sirius laughed and Rachel gave him a weird look.
“Morning… Black.” She mumbled, not wanting to engage him further. Lily remembered fondly the last time she was met with Rachel early in the morning, after having woken her up by accident with Will. After all, speak of the devil and the devil shall appear…
Will skipped into the hall causing a few laughs from the students before slipping in next to Rachel.
“Gooooood morning everyone!” Will sang and everyone stared at him. “What?” Sirius slapped a hand on his knee.
“Now why didn’t I think of that?” He cried in mock horror. Will, having no idea what he was talking about played along anyway.
“Because you’re not amazing like me.” He replied simply. They all laughed just as James slid into the seat in between Rachel and Sirius.
“Morning all,” He nodded.
“Damn!” Sirius cried, and the surrounding Gryffindors laughed.
“What?” James asked bemusedly.
“Don’t go there, Padfoot.”
“Oh I’m going there Prongs.”
“You’re a psychopathic monkey.”
“What kind of insult is that?!”
“What other kind of insult is there, my friend, what other kind of insult is there.” Sirius just gave James a weird look just as McGonagall passed over them with their timetables.
“Miss Carltona, I’m sure any of these Gryffindors show you to your classes.” Peri nodded. McGonagall handed out the respective timetables to the respective people. Lily sighed. It was the same as last years – which meant double potions with the Slytherins on Monday morning. It wasn’t that Lily didn’t like potions, on the contrary she loved it, but she hated having classes with the Slytherins – they were just downright evil.
“So… who’s got potions first?” Sirius wondered aloud. Lily groaned. With her timetable being the same as last years that meant virtually every class with Black and Potter. Sirius raised his eyebrows at Lily.
“You got potions first?” Lily ignored him. “Pffft…fine then.” Sirius pouted and turned to Remus.
“No, Padfoot, I don’t have potions. I’m dropping it this year.” The Marauders blinked in surprise.
“Moony’s dropping a subject?” Peter cried in mock horror.
“Oh what a disaster,” Remus replied drily.
Rachel sat at the Gryffindor table watching Remus dreamily. Or at least she and been watching him dreamily but then she’d mentally slapped herself and started to talk to a silently laughing Will. Will always seemed to be laughing at her expense.
“Well I’ve got a free period since I’m not stupid and I’m not taking potions.” Will smiled.
“Well I am.” Rachel stuck her tongue out at Will. And with that she got up from the table and marched to the door. There a chestnut brown haired boy who’s eyes made her melt waited for her.
“Good morning, Andy.” She smiled and planted a small, sweet kiss on his lips. Andy smiled back and interlocked their fingers as they walked from the Great Hall. Rachel ignored Will’s wolf whistles at her retreating back.
Although Andy didn’t actually have potions, he always walked her to her classes in the morning – he was so sweet, everything Rachel could ever wish for in a boy. He was handsome, caring and always seemed to put her first.
“So, are you doing anything tonight?” Andy whispered into her ear. Rachel giggled.
“That would depend on what you’re asking.” She held back a smile.
“Well I was hoping a moonlit walk would interest you.” Rachel smiled and looked up at him.
“Of course. Although the moon's not until next week, honey.” She tapped him lightly on the cheek as they had reached the dungeons. “Next time, Andy.” She held onto his hand longer than necessary as he walked away grinning.
Sirius marched down to the dungeons, flanked by James and Peri. Or at least he’d like to think they were flanking him – more like he was walking faster than them whilst they had a conversation behind him. By the time Sirius had decided to actually leave breakfast, class had already begun so as they waltzed into the dungeons he saw everyone lined up against the walls.
“Ah, Mr Potter, Mr Black – and you must be Miss Carltona – late again I see, but no matter. I’m sure you will be golden students again this year.” Professor Slughorn smiled through his moustache.
“Oh, of course, Professor,” Sirius replied nodding his head, as he sidled up to stand next to the last person in line. Who so happened to be a flirtatious Slytherin.
“Morning, Black.” She batted her eyelashes and Sirius wrinkled his nose.
“Sorry – Slytherins really aren’t my type.” He turned away and began to listen to what Slughorn was rambling on about.
“I’ll be pairing you all up in the role call and those will be your potions partners for the rest of the year. Clear?” The class nodded. “Hmm… let’s see… Black and Riley up at the front please. I want you two where I can see you.” Sirius raised his eyebrows and dropped into the seat next to Abbie.
“To clear things up, Black, I am not happy with this.” She hissed icily.
“Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”
“Potter, Snape!” There was a cry of outrage from both participants.
“You can’t honestly expect me to –“
“He’s an annoying, greasy, death eater wannabe –“
“He’s a pompous arrogant son of a –“
“He’ll get grease all over my –“
“ENOUGH!” Slughorn shouted, his walrus moustache wrinkling. “Just… I don’t want to put you two in detention, you hear?” James and Snape, faces hard as stone sat down in the desk behind Sirius and refused to look at each other.
“Evans and Sanderson!”
“Lucky gits,” Sirius heard Abbie mumble under her breath.
As the roll call continued, Sirius found himself zoning out as he often did in potions and before he knew it the lecture was over.
“Please prepare the Draught of the Living Death as I have explained – the instructions are on the board. Begin!” Abbie also seemed to only have just returned from her daze. Sirius for one had no idea what to do - so he turned to Abbie.
“You know what we’re doing right?”
On the table behind them Snape had disappeared as fast as lightning over to the store cupboard leaving James in the seat.
“Fair enough.” James got out his cauldron and placed it on the desk and began heating it. All the way through the lesson Snape refused to talk to him and refused to engage him in anyway except to tell him what to do. James had no problem with this, as he didn’t particularly want to talk to Snape either.
“You’re getting on pretty well,” Came Sirius’ sly voice from in front of them. James looked up from chopping one of the Sopophorus beans.
“Shut up Sirius.” He growled.
“I want to pass this class, Black, so piss off.” Snape sneered. Sirius barked with laughter.
“Man this is toooo good,” But Snape cut across him, pointedly ignoring Sirius.
“Don’t chop the bean, crush it with the side of your knife. You get more juice out of it.” James frowned.
“But on the board it says-“
“I don’t give a damn, Potter, now just do it, will you!” James scowled but did it nonetheless.
“You’re a git, Snivelly.”
“You’re a bigger git, Potter.”
After the rather unpleasant potions lesson in which Peri had been paired with a not particularly pleasant Slytherin who she forgot the name of several times, Peri was escorted to her next class (Defence Against the Dark Arts) by James Sirius and Remus. Peter unfortunately didn’t share that class with her.
Peri also had to put up with quite a few unpleasant stares from the female population of Hogwarts. Peri had no idea why they were continually glaring at her but assumed it had something to with the fact that every Marauder was ready to dote on her every whim. It was especially good to be with James again after so many years and his friends were being very polite towards her.
Remus for one had immediately extended the hand of friendship and had welcomed her into the Marauders – the only person who seemed a bit sceptical about her was Sirius. He didn’t seem to keen on sharing all of the Marauders secrets with as far as he knew, a stranger (Peri didn’t blame him).
They stood outside the DADA classroom talking about nothing in particular when the teacher who looked like the muggle dictator marched up to them. His eyes narrowed at the sight of the Marauders and Peri wondered what rumours he might have heard from the other staff about them. He opened the door to the classroom.
“In!” He barked and everyone rushed to oblige. Just as the Marauders slid in the seats at the back, Professor Holland sneered at the class. “I will perform the seating arrangements.” Five minutes later, the class was sat appropriately so no one was next to anyone they were friendly with (the whole class was full of those from all four houses as there were only enough students for two classes and Dumbledore had decided to mix the houses together).
Peri sat to the left of the room next to a Slytherin she only knew as Mulciber, Sirius sat next to a Ravenclaw girl called Aurelia Millnistein – she had long white blonde hair and was wearing what looked like a large pair of spectacles. Sirius seemed very uncomfortable sitting next to her but she barely even acknowledged his presence. James was sitting at the back next to a Hufflepuff boy. Remus was to the right of the room sat next to Alice with Abbie and a girl from Slytherin on the seat behind. Lily sat at the front next to a girl from Hufflepuff and Will was in the centre of the room casting glances at his partner – a rather burly Ravenclaw with buck teeth.
Holland seemed perfectly satisfied with the new seating arrangements and proceeded to take roll call. James lifted his hand into the air hesitantly.
“Sir,” He began but Holland ignored him. “Sir,” He stressed. Holland looked up, moustache twitching.
“Potter… is it? Yes I’ve been warned about you.” James jaw hardened.
“Sir… I can’t see the front.” He gestured to his glasses and Holland growled something incoherent.
“Well then, Potter, you better get up to the front then. Atkin!” He barked and the girl next to Lily jumped. “Use your common sense and swap with Potter!” The girl, Atkin, immediately leaped up from her seat and practically sprinted to the back of the room whilst James dropped down into the seat next to Lily.
“If you planned this, Potter,” She hissed dangerously.
“Calm down, Evans.” He murmured. “It’s just a simple test…”
“My name is Professor Holland. You will refer to me as Sir, Professor or as the name that I have just given you. I am your new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. I will teach you how to counter curse, reverse hexes and jinxes and recognise different spells for what they are.”
Sirius slowly slinked his hand into the air.
“I’m trying to teach, Black.” Sirius ignored him.
“What past experience do you have in teaching?”
“Enough time wasting –“
“That would be none, then? So if I were to hex someone right now would you immediately be able to tell which one I’m using?”
“Yes, Mr Black. Now shut up and –“
“Well Snivelly appears to be suffering something disastrous over there.” The class turned to look at Snape who sat near the back of the class – his face turning red and blotchy and inflating. Holland’s toothbrush moustache twitched before he muttered the appropriate counter jinx.
“Don’t waste my time, Black.” Sirius nodded and shrugged his shoulders, leaning back in his seat. “Books away please – I would like to start by assessing you on your duelling ability and what you have studied so far. You will work with the person sitting next to you.” Lily grinned maliciously. Finally she’d be able to give Potter what he deserved without fear of detention!
The whole class got to their feet and lined up against the wall facing each other. James looked generally bored with the lesson, but turned to Lily and grinned. She narrowed her eyes – Potter wouldn’t know what hit him.
“Wands at the ready!” The class whipped out their wands and stood with them pointed at each other. “Begin!” There were loud shouts of curses and jinxes but before Lily could even utter a word, she found herself unable to move – but James hadn’t said anything. The full body bind dragged her to the floor and her mouth was frozen, so she couldn’t say the counter-jinx. James leaned tiredly against the wall, twirling his wand in his hand and Lily seethed with anger – he must have gotten someone else to cast for him, as he didn’t say anything!
Holland was marching in and out of the cursing couples barking out instructions whenever need be.
“Lupin – hold your wand higher! Crockford you need to dodge quicker and you wouldn’t be in that mess! Andrews – er… nice teeth.” James sniggered and Holland pulled up next to James – although his meagre five foot nine was nothing against James’ six foot three.
“I didn’t hear you casting any spells, Potter,” James gestured to Lily, still bound, on the floor.
“I don’t need to speak to knock down a girl, sir.” Lily squealed in frustration.
“Hmm… I see you’ve mastered non-verbal spells. Very good. But I think we will have to pair you up with someone a bit more… your match, you could say.” Holland marched off down the line in search of such a person as James muttered the counter curse.
Lily leapt to her feet angrily.
“Rictusempra!” She shouted at James’ half turned body. James lifted his wand up in front of him.
“Protego!” Lily’s red jet of light merely bounced off of James’ shield charm.
“I wouldn’t start this Evans –“
“Locomotor Mortis!” James darted to the side, but Lily couldn’t dodge fast enough for James’ quick reactions. The leg locker caught her, and as she struggled to regain her balance she fell flat on her face at James’ feet.
“I never though the term “fall for a boy” was more appropriate than –“
“Potter!” Before Lily could reply James was cut off by Holland. “Potter get your sorry arse down here and have a go at Black.”
“Eww… Professor that sounds so wrong, on so many levels!” Sirius commented in a high girlish voice.
“Shut up Black.” Holland’s moustache twitched. By now most of the duels were over, but the two remaining battles were of Sirius and James and Frank Longbottom and Snape.
Frank and Snape seemed to be on all out against each other, but they’re duel was no match against James and Sirius’. The class was fascinated by the different jets of light being flown at one another, some being accompanied by a shout, some not. They ducked, dodged, cast shield charms and held nothing back against each other. That duel was the far more interesting one to watch. Finally Holland held up a hand.
“Stop! Magnificent, absolutely astounding. Snape, five points to Slytherin. Potter, Black, Longbottom – fifteen points to Gryffindor.” James and Sirius high fived, but were still panting heavily. “Alright, I want to know the winner of each duel. Lupin and Summers?”
“Summers,” Remus grumbled. Alice beamed.
“Andrews and Crockford?”
“Crockford,” Will grinned.
Peri herself, who had lost her duel, was a bit disappointed. She found it very embarrassing when she had to tell Holland that she had lost – he was a very intimidating man. The lesson continued similarly with Holland mixing and matching different pairs and getting an idea of everyone’s skill levels. By the end of the lesson, the class was exhausted.
“Well this class was… disappointing.” Holland wrinkled his nose. “I expected more from a Seventh Year class – granted, a few of you were at an acceptable level, and I suppose your teaching has been… disturbed. Therefore next lesson we are going to start at the basics.” The class groaned at the thought of going back to First Year work.
“Dismissed!” The class trooped out, and Abbie ran up to meet Will, tapping him on the shoulder.
“What a git!” Will spat. “He can’t just waltz into our school and tell us what we can and can’t do!”
Abbie shrugged her shoulders as the two ran up to catch up with Lily and Rachel.
“I don’t believe Potter! I was just about to show him a piece of my mind for all the grief he’s caused me and –“
“ – And you got destroyed.” Lily narrowed her eyes at Rachel.
“I did not!” Rachel nodded in a ‘of course you did’ kind of way.
“I didn’t!” Abbie laughed and dragged them all into the Great Hall for lunch. The Marauders were nowhere to be seen, but Peri stepped nervously up to the group.
“Can I sit here?” She mumbled nervously. Rachel and Abbie smiled.
“Of course you can, Peri!” Peri sat down gratefully next to Abbie
“The Marauders abandon you, then?” Lily muttered and Peri frowned at her before shaking her head.
“I don’t believe we’ve met – Peri Carltona, pleasure.” Peri reached her hand across the table to Will who laughed.
“I know who you are – Will Crockford, charmed.”
“Feeling a bit posh today are we, William?” Will stuck his tongue out at Rachel who had spoken.
“Ugh – those Marauders – they’re such pigs!” Lily cried out in frustration before banging her head down onto the table. Rachel shot a warning glance at her before turning to look at Peri, biting her lip.
“What have they done to you?” Peri bristled. Lily lifted her head up.
“Oh, I forgot you were their friend. Forget I said anything.”
“No, no, please, what have the Marauders done to you to provoke such a fowl attitude?” Lily was on the edge of her temper and Peri wasn’t doing herself any favours by taking that tone with her.
“Well,” Lily started, “They never have any regard for anyone else but themselves, and they are always getting into trouble! Pettigrew is a little follower that never makes any decisions on his own. Black is a player, among other things, who only likes the attention and Potter…” She trailed off, still seething at her defeat in their last class. “James Potter is the most arrogant person in the world, always showing off, thinking he is better than everyone else just because he can maneuver a broomstick! All the Marauders ever do is flirt and parade around – it’s disgusting! Except for Remus, he’s the best of the four.” She finished with a note of finality in her voice.
Peri’s face turned sourer and sourer with every word Lily spoke and she turned down right angry when she started talking about James.
“You listen to me Evans before you settle to firmly in the saddle of your high horse! How dare you say those things about James – and Sirius and Peter! They have been nothing but nice to me all the time I’ve been here – hec, they’re out helping Hagrid now collect some Nifflers that got away from him!” Lily snorted at this comment.
“Now I thought you were a nice person up until now, but you can’t go round dragging people’s names in the dirt like that – from what I've gathered, you’ve never once tried to have a civilized conversation with anyone but Remus so how can you accuse them of being arrogant when you don’t even know them!”
“I don’t know them? I’m the one who’s lived for bloody six years with them – you’re the one who doesn’t know them!”
“Well I obviously know them better than you – all they’ve ever done is speak highly of you, in fact all James ever seems to talk about is you, and I think if you opened your eyes a little to how nice they are you might find out they are lot different from what you’ve built them up to be in your horrid little mind!” And with that she jumped to her feet. “I’m going to Herbology – nice meeting you, Will. Bye!” She stalked off out of the door, hands clenched into fists without a backwards glance.
“Now you didn’t have to go say all that crap, did you!” Will hissed angrily.
“Don’t tell me – you’re siding with her?” Lily looked appalled.
“Well I’ve lived in their dorm for six years – I know who’s arrogant and who’s just a show when it comes to the Marauders.” Will stood up to, grabbing a couple of sandwiches and stuffing them into his bag.
“She didn’t eat anything. Now, as I’m the only one with Herbology I’ll see you guys later!” Will also stalked off but stopped at the door. He turned and gave them a cheery wave as if the argument never happened and skipped out into the entrance hall. Lily sniffed and turned back to her lunch.
“Well… they both have a point Lils, you’ve never really talked to them for more than you have to, bar Remus, so you don’t really know what goes on in their heads. They just like to have fun.” Still Lily wouldn’t look at the other two girls. Lunch continued on in silence as Lily pondered her friends’ words. Could she really have been that wrong?... Although she remembered hearing that sentance before somwhere -'before you settle to firmly in the saddle of your high horse'. That's right - James said that yesturday. Now that Lily thought about it they were quite similar...
“Come on – we’ve got Ancient Runes.” Abbie whined pulling on Lily’s arm.
“Well you wanted to take it,” Rachel sniggered. “I, on the other hand, have myself a free period.” Lily and Abbie scowled before leaving her smirking at the Gryffindor table.
Well there you go - these chapters are getting very long! I want to fit in so much and I'm now going into chapter six but I'm still on the first day! Special thanks to greeneyes713, harrys_tatoo_girl, Jimmette, Moonylupin and Wondering for adding this to their favorites! Also thankyou so much Shewolf for reviewing last chapter!
Thanks for reading!
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